The good news has now been confirmed.

DNA tests confirm wild gray wolves in Okanogan Co.. Associated Press (as printed in Idaho Statesman).

Update: there are 6 pups. So a North Cascades pack of 8 wolves!

Update: there are photos in this story. Long-absent wolves denning in Washington. Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

5 Responses to DNA tests confirm captured canids in Washington are wolves

  1. BegoCWC says:

    any word on whether these were wolves traveling west from Idaho or south from BC? Thought I’d read earlier that they were thought to have moved south from BC, but wondering if that’s known yet?

  2. BegoCWC,

    They did a genetic analysis to make sure they were pure wolf, but they can also use the blood to match with Idaho wolves and determine this.

    So far no word.
    – – – –

    Update: the article I just posted suggested most likely the wolves did not come over from Idaho, but down from B.C.

  3. Wolverine Dreams says:

    Photos and a recording can me seen/heard at:
    The Methow is a different sort of place than many parts of the rural west. It will be interesting to see if the community, and local agricultural interests, can embrace this turn of events.

  4. BegoCWC says:

    Thanks, Ralph.

    Below details can be found at the link that Wolverine Dreams posted above:

    “Today, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife received confirmation from DNA lab results that two adult canids collared last Friday in the Methow Valley are pure wolf, likely having moved in from Canada.

    Additional background of Cascades gray wolf:
    The “Cascade Mountains wolf” is a subspecies of the gray wolf that has lived in the forested regions from the Cascade Range to the Pacific Coast.”

  5. Howard says:

    The whole issue of subspecies is always tricky (even when there is no social or political issues involved…the concept itself is difficult to define and one scientist’s subspecies is another’s variant population), but I believe that the current consensus among wolf scientists (not everyone agrees, of course), is that there are five wolf subspecies in North America; arctos; baileyi; nubilus; occidentalis; and lycaon (which may not be a gray wolf, but the red wolf…btw, sorry for lack of italics, I can’t find them on this computer). I don’t think “Cascades wolf” is currently widely recognized as a subspecies anymore. From what I’ve read however, the Alexander Archipelago wolf of coastal Alaska is almost certainly a separate subspecies, and I don’t know if it has gotten official scientific recognition yet. It is a small, dark wolf of the temperate rainforest they preys mainly on the small Sitka blacktail deer (it also consumes a great deal of salmon during the runs, like bears!).
    Great to see wolves breeding in Washington again…hopefully, we’ll see lots more.


July 2008


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey